As I'm writing this, Santa is allegedly over Baghdad, although I suppose he is not bringing gifts to little Sunni and Sh'ia boys and girls. At 12:55 p.m., Pacific time, Christmas Eve, Santa was making his way across the Middle East, according to the NORAD Tracks Santa site. He moves fast, though: Two minutes later he was over Moscow.
In the wonderful life of NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, Christmas is the miraculous time when they get to report on Santa's progress around the globe as he brings Christmas to your house. The holiday tradition dates back to 1955, when a newspaper ad misprinted a phone number, leading kids to contact NORAD's predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command, InfoWeek explains.
Not wanting to disappoint children who called in, then operations director Col. Harry Shoup instructed his staff to "track" Santa's progress on radar and provide children with updates over the phone. Since then, the agency's efforts have gone more hi-tech. But the mission remains the same--keep tabs on Kris Kringle.The site was designed by Booz Allen Hamilton. "Google software will output live images from NORAD's high-speed digital “Santa Cams," and Google Maps and Google Earth will follow Santa as he travels around the world," NORAD says.